The city underscored that the tactile that were installed on some sidewalks are primarily intended as a guide for those visually impaired using canes to ensure that they are in the right direction to their desired destinations.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña pointed out that the tactile should not be stepped on by pedestrians because its primary purpose is to serve as a guide for the visually impaired.
He pointed out that the tactile installed on some sidewalks are of international standard as the city government made sure that the materials to be installed must not be substandard.
However, he admitted that because of the narrow sidewalks, people cannot avoid stepping on the tactile thus the city is looking into remedying the situation to address the public concern on the slippery surface, especially during the rainy season when the said materials get wet.
According to him, the observations raised by the public on the existence of the tactile on sidewalks around the city is welcomed by the city government and appropriate coordination will be done with the City Engineering Office (CEO) and the Department of Public Works and Highways–Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO) to find ways on how to address the same.
The city administrator stipulated that the installed tactile have 5 groves which is the international standard to guide the visually impaired who are using canes.
He explained that the when the groves are hit by the canes, this signals the visually impaired on what direction to take.
Further, the installation of tactile on sidewalks is part of the local government’s compliance to the pertinent provisions of Batas Pambansa 344 or the Accessibility Law where infrastructure projects and structures must provide the appropriate modes by which persons with disabilities (PWDs) can access the same.
He called on the public to understand the presence of the tactile on the sidewalks as it is primarily intended for the benefit of the visually impaired residents and visitors where the same must be actually stepped on, especially when the said materials are wet, to avoid the occurrence of untoward incidents that pose a serious threat to their safety.
The local government department head assured the public that previous observations that were raised against the existing tactile are given the appropriate attention by the concerned government agencies and the city so that whatever incidents that happened in the previous days that caused some people to slip and sustain minor injuries could be avoided in the future.
The city and the DPWH-BCDEO will continue the implementation of similar projects along various sidewalks in the city to provide the PWDs with easier access to their desired destinations and to make the sidewalks PWD-friendly pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.